Vanina Farber named Dean of IMD’s EMBA program
News Stories · Social Innovation - Leadership

Vanina Farber named Dean of IMD’s EMBA program

Economist and political scientist specializing in social innovation and impact investing with more than 20 years of consultancy, research and teaching experience to lead Executive MBA.
November 2021

Vanina Farber, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will become the fifth Dean of IMD’s Executive MBA program in 2022, President Jean-François Manzoni has announced.

“Vanina’s expertise in several important areas, including social innovation, as well as her strong academic leadership made her an obvious choice as our next EMBA Dean,” said Professor Manzoni. “Vanina is a much-appreciated faculty member of the EMBA, for which she already leads the pioneering Discovery Expedition in Peru and for her course on impact investing.

“She takes a brave approach to teaching, using provocative pedagogical interventions such as having young social activists critique EMBA participants’ sustainability initiatives,” he noted. She has led pioneering courses for the EMBA program on social innovation, impact investment and ESG integration.

Farber is an economist and political scientist specializing in social innovation, corporate social responsibility and sustainable finance. With more than 20 years of consultancy, research and teaching experience working with academic institutions, multinational corporations and international organizations, Professor Farber also holds the elea Chair for Social Innovation and leads the elea Center for Social Innovation. She adds a gender lens in all areas of her work: research, pedagogy and professional practice. Before coming to IMD, Professor Farber was Dean of the Graduate School of Business at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima.

Professor Farber succeeds Stefan Michel, Professor of Marketing and Strategy, who has served as Dean of the Executive MBA program since 2014. Together with his team, Professor Michel innovated the program on several fronts and tripled the number of graduates, while simultaneously increasing the percentage of female leaders in the program from 15% to 31%.

While the COVID-19 crises posed many challenges, IMD’s Executive MBA program seized the opportunities to develop new hybrid formats in every step of the learning journey.

Professor Manzoni said, “We are profoundly grateful to Stefan for the incredible job he has done in bringing the IMD EMBA to the position it is in today. Stefan brought a heightened sense of customer-centricity to the program, always putting the interest of participants first and ensuring we hold true to our purpose to develop leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society.

“A master pedagogue, he brought his meticulous eye for detail into optimizing every aspect of the program journey including Advanced Management Concepts, the Mastery Stage and the Discovery Expeditions.”

Professor Michel will direct the EMBA cohort starting in January 2022 and graduating in December 2022; Professor Farber will lead the two subsequent cohorts starting in 2022.

The Institute for Management Development (IMD) is an independent academic institution with Swiss roots and global reach, founded 75 years ago by business leaders for business leaders. Since its creation, IMD has been a pioneering force in developing leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society.

Based in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Singapore, IMD has been ranked in the Top 3 of the annual FT Executive Education Global Ranking for the last nine consecutive years and in the top five for 17 consecutive years. IMD’s MBA and EMBA programs have repeatedly been singled out among the best in the world.

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